Il Viaggio


When the multidisciplinary arts festival Europalia invited Melanie de Biasio to participate in it’s 2021 festival on the theme of Trains & Tracks, the Belgian musician was inspired to return to her roots, to retrace the route of immigration from Italy to Belgium taken by her father’s parents. With lightweight recording equipment and an old camera, she settled alone in the small mountain village of Lettomanoppello, in Abruzzo, Italy. This became the starting point Il Viaggio. From there Melanie journeyed in the Dolomites where her family originated from and where she spent summers as a child. This journey was not only introspective but also collaborative at it’s heart. All English lyrics are the result of a continuing collaboration with Gil Helmick, poet and activist living in Maine. With Gil’s poetry as a starting point, the two create an improvisation with words, and a synergy of images and meaning is born. On her return to Belgium, Melanie worked closely with Pascal Paulus, multi-instrumentalist who contributed to each of her past albums. With the raw recorded material from Italy, they created the musical foundation for each of the pieces on this album. On Il Viaggio, we again discover her chant’s originality: her unique phrasing; her voice of sensuality without excess; and above all, her ability to leave behind frenzy and noise, creating a world of abundant time and space. She offers a moment bathed in a fulfilling quietude – and invites us to join her.

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